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Mind's Eye 

A Liberal Arts Journal 
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts 




Struggle for a Home By Jim mdbaiski 

The Gift of the Falcon By Mary Ellen Cohane 

Changing Reputations: Nature and Naturalists in 
Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species By miiam Montgomery 

Defining Action in Ibsen and Sibelius By Brian Fitzpatrick 

In Search of History: Presidencies, Personalities and Policies 

Book Review By Robert Bence 
First Bird Poetry By Mark Daniel Milter 

Drawings by Biiispezeski Spring 1998 



Mind's Eye 

A Liberal Arts Journal 



SPRING 1998 



Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts 



Editorial Board 

Tony Gengarelly 
Managing Editor 

Bob Bishoff 
Sumi Colligan 
Steve Green 
Ben Jacques 
Leon Peters 
Maynard Seider 
Meera Tamaya 



© 1998 The Mind's Eye 
ISSN 1098-0512 

The Mind's Eye, a journal of scholarly and creative work, is edited 
and published twice annually by the faculty of Massachusetts 
College of Liberal Arts. While emphasizing articles of scholarly 
merit. The Mind's Bye focuses on a genera] communication of ideas 
of interest to a liberal arts college. We welcome expository essays as 
well as fiction, poetry and art. Please refer to the inside back cover 
for a list of submission guidelines. 

The Mind's Eye is funded by the office of Dr. Ashim Basu, Vice 
President for Academic Affairs. 



Massachusetts College of Libera! Arts 

Formerly North Adams State College 

375 Church Street 
North Adams, MA 01247-4100 



Mind's Eye 

Spring 1998 



The Editor's File 

Changing Reputations: Nature and 
Naturalists in Charles Darwin's On the 
Origin of Species 

By William Montgomery 

First Bird 

Poetry 

By Mark Daniel Miller 

Struggle for a Home 

By Jim Niedbalski 

The Gift of the Falcon 

Fiction 

By Mary Ellen Cohane 

Defining Action in Ibsen and Sibelius 

By Brian Fitzpatrick 

Drawings 

By William Spezeski 

In Search of History: Presidencies, 
Personalities and Policies — 

Book Review 
By Robert Bence 

Contributors 



On the Cover: 
Woodcock, Lino-cut by Leon PeteTS 



The Editor's File 



A 

JL JLs we continue to publish the scholarly and literary efforts of 
our colleagues, I recall a comment by former Mind 's Eye editor 
Charlie Mclsaac: "Sit at your typewriter and see if you have some- 
thing to say." Even though, for most of us, the typewriter has been 
replaced by the keyboard, Charlie's challenge remains as true now 
as it was then. As the diverse and provocative contributions to this 
edition suggest, The Mind's Eye continues to inspire our faculty to 
think and write, to explore those areas of thought and literary 
expression which revitalize the personal and educational experi- 
ence. Our stated mission is to nurture this process and to share it 
with the College and broader academic community. So far, so good: 
but the challenge as well as the opportunity remain. Submissions 
are welcome any time; deadline for the Fall edition is July 1 5. 



iThe Mind's Eye 



Changing Reputations: 
Nature and Naturalists 
in Charles Darwin's 

On the Origin of Species 



BY WILLIAM MONTGOMERY 



T 

JLt is a commonplace that great scientists owe great debts to their 
predecessors. Newton is said to have remarked that he could sec 
further than others because he stood on the shoulders of giants, and 
this comment has been accepted as a truism by scientists from his 
day to ours (Merton). Nevertheless, the relationship between a 
revolutionary scientist and the people who made his or her work 
possible is complex. To innovate is to change, to alter, and to 
modify. The innovator redefines previous work even in making use 
of it (Kuhn ch. 11). 

Charles Darwin was just such a figure. In developing his 
evolutionary ideas he scoured the scientific literature of his day and 
pursued complete strangers with odd questions about their special 
knowledge. His obligations to others were enormous, and yet the 
use he made of this assembled material was frequently quite novel. 
He was particularly indebted to the geologist Charles Lyell, who 
influenced some of the earliest research he ever did and who 
became an important mentor and friend as his career developed. 



The Mind's Eye 5 



William Montgomery 



Still, as Darwin began thinking about evolution, he grew beyond the 
more conservative Lyell. He used Lyell's geological ideas but not 
always in ways that Lyell had intended. Darwin took special care to 
credit Lyell's thinking, yet even as he acknowledged his friend's 
work he gave it a new twist. 

Darwin did not always treat other scientists as generously as he 
did Lyell. Darwin could be almost negligent in recognizing scientists 
with whom he did not want to identify himself. He was terse in 
dismissing the work of his evolutionary forerunner, Robert Cham- 
bers; and he had little more to say about Robert Malthus, who had 
inspired his idea of natural selection. They were not personal 
friends, and Darwin made no extra effort to enhance their reputa- 
tions; nevertheless, he treated their ideas much as he had Lyell's, 
altering even as he borrowed. 

Darwin's great evolutionary book On the Origin of Species was 
published in 1859, the fruit of a long period of thought and re- 
search. He first became convinced of the truth of evolution in 
March of 1837, shortly after his return from a round-the-world 
voyage of scientific collecting and observation aboard H.M.S. Beagle 
(Sulloway). In the intervening period he worked steadily, bringing 
out six books and a number of major articles, mostly on geology. At 
the same time he was also reading widely, conducting experiments, 
and making extensive notes on the subject of species. Darwin kept 
in close touch with many of the ablest scientists in England and took 
pains to make sure that his information was complete and up-to- 
date. Fortunately, he preserved many of his notes, and his corre- 
spondents usually saved his letters (Barrett; Burkhardt and Smith). 
Thus, we are unusually well-informed about his opinions of other 
scientists and their work. 

One individual who attracted Darwin's attention was the 
publisher and sometime geologist Robert Chambers, author of 
Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation. This book, published anony- 
mously in 1844, had already advanced a theory of evolution. 
During the 1830s and early 1840s, geologists had discovered a 
sequence of fossil forms from extremely primitive invertebrates to 
mammals quite similar to those now living, which could be identi- 



6 The Mind's Eye 



William Montgomery 



tied with successive layers of sedimentary rock. The oldest, most 
deeply buried rocks contained the most primitive forms, and as one 
traced the layers toward the present, the number of modern forms 
increased and grew more familiar. To Chambers, this was a clear 
sign of evolutionary development, as he explained to fascinated 
readers in 1844 (148-150). Chambers reassured his readers that this 
progress was not the result of any blind, mechanical force. God may 
not have created each plant and animal individually, but it was 
through the natural development of His laws that ever higher beings 
came into existence (152-164). 

Darwin referred to the Vestiges in the Introduction to the Origin 
of Species, spelling out his chief reservation about Chambers's idea. 
In Darwin's eyes it was not enough to offer evidence that species 
had evolved. A truly successful theory also had to make clear how 
species were modified to thrive in their environment. 

The author of the 'Vestiges of Creation' would, I presume, 
say that, after a certain unknown number of generations, 
some bird had given birth to a woodpecker and some plant 
to the misseltoe, and that these had been produced perfect 
as we now see them; but the assumption seems to me to be 
no explanation, for it leaves the case of the coadaptations of 
the organic beings to each other and to their physical 
conditions of life, untouched and unexplained. (3-4) 

Explaining the coadaptations of nature was, of course, one of 
the major goals of the Origin of Species. The reference to Chambers's 
book thus served Darwin as a convenient springboard for an expla- 
nation of his own intentions. He did not name the author since 
Chambers was still protecting his anonymity and would do so to the 
end of his life in 1884. However, Darwin had guessed his identity in 
early 1846 after reading Chambers's anonymous reply to a harsh 
review of the Vestiges (To J. D. Hooker [Feb. 10, 1846] in Burkhardt 
and Smith 3:289) A year later Darwin had his guess confirmed, if 
ever so discreetly, by Chambers himself. 

Darwin went to see Chambers in London in early March, 1847. 
Darwin had become embroiled in a dispute over his theory about 
the origins of the raised beaches that line the walls of Glen Roy in 



The Mind's Eye 1 



William Montgomery 

Scotland. He hoped to obtain from Chambers more information 
about Glen Roy and about the views of the Scottish geologist David 
Milne, who had criticized his work. Darwin and Chambers had 
never met before, but they got on well, and Darwin evidently 
considered Chambers's information useful. A punctiliously courte- 
ous man, Darwin asked no questions about the Vestiges — after all. 
Chambers would only have answered "no." In mid- April, though, 
Darwin received an anonymous, but revealing present in the mail, a 
presentation copy of the sixth edition of the Vestiges. The gift left 
him quite confident that he was right about its author (To Robert 
Chambers, Feb. 28, 1847 and To J. D. Hooker, April 18, 1847, in 
Burkhardt and Smith 4:19 and 36). 

Scientists had very diverse reactions to the Vestiges. The young 
explorer Alfred Russel Wallace was immediately converted by 
Chambers, and started looking for evidence to bolster his views 
(McKinney 9-12). However, the usual reaction was quite negative. 
Adam Sedgwick, the pious Cambridge professor of geology, gave it a 
bitterly hostile review when it first appeared (Secord in Chambers 
xxxi-xxxii). Darwin, who of course sympathized with Chambers's 
purposes even if he rejected many of his scientific mistakes, was 
appalled at the review. It inspired him to move very carefully in 
revealing his own ideas. Darwin got another jolt in 1854 when 
Thomas Henry Huxley, whom he had begun to think of as a possible 
supporter, gave the tenth edition of the Vestiges a cutting review. 
Huxiey had no religious objections to evolution, but he would not 
forgive the amateurishness of some passages in the book, and he 
genuinely disagreed with Chambers's belief in geological progress 
(Richards 148-49). This was awkward for Darwin, who had begun 
to believe in some measure of progress himself. He gently noted to 
Huxley, "I am almost as unorthodox about species as the Vestiges 
itself, although I hope not quite so unphilosophical," (To T. H. 
Huxley, Sept, 2, [1854], Burkhardt and Smith 5:213) 

Darwin's comments in the Introduction to the Origin were 
clearly intended to disarm critics who had disliked Chambers's book. 
Darwin wanted to make plain at the outset that his own approach to 
species change was quite different from that of the Vestiges. How- 



8 The Mind's Eye 



William Montgomery 



ever, for many biologists Darwin went much too far. Richard Owen, 
the leading comparative anatomist in England, probably spoke for 
many of his colleagues when he distanced himself from many of 
Darwin's innovations. Owen was ambivalent about the transmuta- 
tion of species. He would not endorse the idea openly, but he 
clearly sympathized with many of the arguments in its favor. This is 
obvious in his review of the Origin, where he vacillated between 
criticizing Darwin and suggesting that some transmutationist ideas, 
especially his own and those of Robert Chambers, did deserve 
consideration. Chambers had proposed that modifications in the 
growth process of immature organisms might lead to new species. 
Owen was not fully persuaded by Chambers's idea, but he obviously 
preferred it to natural selection (185-186). In addition to his 
scientific objections to natural selection, Owen may also have 
disliked its rigorous secularism. Despite Chambers's coy anonymity 
and despite the criticism that professional scientists had heaped on 
the Vestiges, his theory made a place for the works of God in a way 
that natural selection did not. If Owen had to choose between 
them, he would side with Chambers. 

Darwin forced Owen to choose, and before long he forced most 
other scientists to choose as well. Within a decade, the arguments of 
the Origin of Species had converted the majority of biologists in 
England and North America to the idea of evolution. Nevertheless, 
argue as he might, he could not convince them that natural selec- 
tion was the primary mechanism of evolutionary change. Most of 
them eventually made the same choice that Owen did and opted for 
some version of evolution along the lines Chambers had suggested. 
As the historian Peter Bowler has remarked, "The system that had 
been rejected as virtually atheistic in 1844 was now revived as a fall- 
back position by those who wished to preserve the role of design 
against Darwin's more militantly naturalistic theory." (Eclipse 49) 
Charles Darwin made Robert Chambers a good Christian in the eyes 
of their contemporaries. Chambers held to his secret until his death, 
but after the Origin of Species appeared, he had nothing to apologize 
for, 

Darwin and Chambers hardly knew one another, but Darwin 



The Mind's Eye 9 



William Montgomery 

and Charles Lyell were close friends and scientific allies. Lyell, a 
wealthy Scottish landowner, had studied law as a young man but 
could not practice due to bad eyesight. Since he enjoyed an inde- 
penden: income, he chose to devote his life to geology and soon 
established himself as one of the leading members of the socially 
prestigious Geological Society of London. He was particularly 
known for his studies of volcanos, the Tertiary period, movement in 
the earth's crust, and those recent deposits that his contemporaries 
called Diluvial and that we call Pleistocene. Lyell did more than 
anyone else to establish that these deposits could not have been 
produced by a gigantic prehistoric flood in the manner of the 
Biblical deluge and must have been produced by more gradual 
processes (Herbert 489). 

Darwin had first become aware of Lyell's ideas aboard the Beagle, 
where he read Lyell's newly published masterpiece, the Principles of 
Geology. According to Lyell, all of past geology could be explained 
by references to processes still observable. Earthquakes, volcanos, 
and erosion were the principle active events of geology. The land 
might rise and gradually be worn away or it might subside, but 
everything happened slowly over vast expanses of time. To young 
Darwin, chipping fossils out of South American river beds, Lyell's 
message was immediately plausible. Darwin was discovering the 
remains of large Pleistocene mammals whose collective demise 
demanded explanation. Most geologists of the time assumed that 
such animals must have been destroyed by some great deluge, far 
more destructive that anything that humans had witnessed: this was 
the view of Alcide d'Orbigny, who had also explored in South 
America, Darwin, however, followed Lyell in insisting that they had 
perished a few at a time in the sort of ordinary Hoods, famines, and 
ferocity that overcome living beings every day (Voyage 165-66). 

The greatest triumph of Darwin's voyage was the theory he 
devised to explain the phenomenon of coral reefs. His experience in 
studying the rising seacoast of Chile supported Lyell's idea of the 
importance of gradual changes in the elevation of the land. Think- 
ing about his forthcoming trip to the Pacific, Darwin surmised that 
where coastlines or tropical islands were subsiding, coral reefs might 



10 TkeMintfsEye 



William Montgomery 



develop as corals slowly built upward on top of one another. As 
each dying generation sank further beneath the waves, it would 
provide a platform for the support of its offspring. This was an 
improvement on Lyell's own rather implausible notion that such 
reefs simply formed on the tops of extinct voicanos, and Darwin was 
able to visit a large number of reefs in the Pacific and Indian Oceans 
that exemplified the process at work (Structure). 

Following Darwin's return to England, he and Lyell were soon 
friends. The older man had high praise for Darwin's coral reef 
theory and encouraged him in publishing the findings of his voyage. 
For his part, Darwin became the most important supporter of Lyell's 
ideas among the scientists who gathered at the Geological Society of 
London. Even after Darwin moved from London to Down, the two 
kept in touch through long letters offering advice and suggestions 
on one another's books. As Darwin freely admitted, all his early 
geological books 'came half out of Lyell's brains." (To Leonard 
Homer, Aug. 29, [1844], Burkhardt and Smith 3:55) For his part, 
Lyell appreciated Darwin's support, for he was often at odds with 
most of his other colleagues on important issues. He insisted that 
the past could be entirely explained through gradual processes 
without reference to great catastrophes, a point that was also 
important to Darwin. Even more strikingly, Lyell recognized no 
discernable direction in the geological past, only an endless recycling 
of the material landscape as it rose and decayed, Lyell extended this 
idea even to the fossils in the rocks, professing to detect no sign of 
progress over time. He recognized, of course, that older formations 
seemed to contain no remains of higher animals or plants; however, 
he dismissed their absence as an accident of poor preservation. 
Sooner or later examples would be found (Lyell 1 30-153). 

Most other geologists disagreed completely with this Idea. Their 
research showed increasing numbers of higher forms in the more 
recent formations, and as their studies became more thorough, they 
found no exceptions to this rule. Darwin's reaction was more 
complicated. Privately, he had come to believe in evolution; for 
him, the higher forms must somehow have arisen from lower ones, 
Lyell's antiprogressive theory might seem inconsistent with evolu- 



Tht Mind's Eye 11 



William Mon tgomery 

tion, and Lyell had — in part for this very reason — opposed the 
evolutionary ideas of Jean Baptiste Lamarck. Nevertheless, Darwin 
had his own problems with the progressivist belief in a geological 
record that was relatively intact. For the most part, surviving fossils 
show little indication of change over time. They may progress in a 
general sense, but examples of gradual transition from one form to 
another are unusual. If Darwin wanted to defend evolution, he, like 
Lyell, also had to assume that the preserved fossils represent only a 
small remnant of the living beings that once existed (Rudwick ch. 
4). The Origin of Species records Darwin's agreement with Lyell as 
forcefully as possible. He completely endorsed Ly ell's idea that the 
rocks bear testimony to an enormous passage of time. In fact, he 
thought Ly ell's work on this subject had achieved "a revolution in 
natural science." (282) Darwin urged anyone who examined great 
sedimentary deposits thousands of feet thick to "remember Lyell's 
profound remark, that the thickness and extent of sedimentary 
formations are the result and measure of the degradation which the 
earth's crust has elsewhere suffered." (283-284) To be sure, this 
idea of an earth that constantly recycled its materials was by no 
means original with Lyell; it was pioneered by James Hutton, Lyell's 
Scottish predecessor (Bowler, Evolution 45—49). Nevertheless, in the 
Origin, Darwin chose to emphasize the work of his friend. 

When Darwin set out to defend the idea that the fossil record 
has been poorly preserved, he also identified Lyell, along with 
Edward Forbes, as the chief advocate of this position. Indeed, at one 
point he echoed Lyell's antiprogressivist faith that mammals might 
well have existed in the older history of the earth even if their fossils 
had not yet been found. "Nor is their rarity surprising, when we 
remember how large a proportion of the bones of tertiary mammals 
have been discovered either in caves or in lacustrine deposits; and 
that not a cave or true lacustrine bed is known belonging to the age 
of our secondary or palaeozoic formations," (289) Of course, the 
real point of this argument was not so much to defend Lyell as to 
explain away the scarcity of intermediate gradations between fossil 
forms (293); still, it was an awkward concession for an evolutionist 
to make. 



12 The Mind's Eye 



William Montgomery 



In a later passage Darwin grappled directly with the issue of 
evolutionary progress. It gave him a great dea! of trouble because, 
as he put it, "naturalists have not as yet defined to each other's 
satisfaction what is meant by high and low forms." (336) He 
mentioned the zoologist Louis Agassiz, who believed that "ancient 
animals resemble to a certain extent the embryos of recent animais 
of the same classes," His own response to this idea was ambivalent: 
"I must follow Pictet and Huxley in thinking that the truth of this 
doctrine is very far from proved. Yet I fully expect to see it hereafter 
confirmed, at least in regard to subordinate groups, which have 
branched off from each other within comparatively recent times." 
(338) Darwin's expertise in comparative anatomy was limited to 
barnacles, and he was reluctant to challenge the authority of 
Huxley, who had excoriated Chambers over just this issue (Richards 
145^16). Still, as an evolutionist, he could hardly reject the notion 
of progress entirely. In saying this, he was not necessarily contra- 
dicting his mentor Lyell. If progress had occurred only among 
subordinate groups of recent origin, paleozoic mammals might yet 
be unearthed. 

In this way, Darwin avoided serious disagreement with Lyell 
while maintaining some degree of evolutionary progress. There was 
not very much progress, and it took place rather late in the game 
among creatures that all belonged to the same general category. 
Darwin did not actually mention Lyell in making this formulation, 
but it was probably no accident that his modest claims for progress 
fell within the permissible limits of Lyell's thinking. It was probably 
also no accident that Darwin allowed himself just enough progress 
to accommodate the emergence of human beings from some more 
primitive mammalian ancestor. It was a tight squeeze, but he 
cleared the obstacles on both sides. As a result, Darwin had 
achieved quite a coup. He had turned Lyell, the defender of a static 
model of the earth and England's most articulate critic of Lamarck, 
into a veritable prophet of evolution. Indeed he even managed to 
associate Lyell's idea of gradualism with the concept of natural 
selection, insisting that selection worked much like the action of 
erosion grinding away on a shoreline (95). Readers of Darwin's 



The Mind's Eye 13 



William Montgomery 

chapters on geology can virtually hear Lyell crying in the wilderness. 
Darwin's formula of geological gradualism equals evolution and his 
oh-so-modest vision of evolutionary progress were tailor-made to 
Lyell's uniforraitarian beliefs. Just as Darwin made Chambers a 
Christian, he made Lyell an evolutionist. AH that was needed was 
for the grand old man to murmur his assent. 

The question of progress affected all of Darwin's thoughts about 
geology, but it also played a role in his important concept of the 
struggle for existence. However, this progress was not, as Chambers 
had imagined it, a buiit-in feature of living forms. Rather il oc- 
curred as the indirect result of random variation and the unequal 
success of plants and animals in coping with their environment. In 
the Origin, Darwin explained that plants and animals do not enjoy 
the same opportunities to reproduce their kind. In practice, most 
members of any species perish before they get the opportunity. It 
was easy to demonstrate this reality; in the absence of checks on 
population, even slow-breeding creatures can increase their num- 
bers geometrically. It is only a matter of time until they outstrip 
their food supply. In real life everyone is a competitor, and only a 
minority have the chance to survive and reproduce (62-68). 

Naturalists had long been aware that life in a state of nature 
involved persistent conflict. Charles Lyell had written eloquently 
about the way that different species encourage or thwart one 
another. The examples were endless: a large tree might favor shade- 
loving species while excluding those that needed sun. Destructive 
insects might ravage some species and thereby make a place for 
others. As Lyell saw it, nature existed in a kind of rough balance 
with the expansion of each spedes checked by the activities of 
others. The balance was uneasy though, for changes in climate or 
the mysterious plagues of disease, parasites, and predators might at 
any time render a previously attractive situation untenable for one 
species or another. Ultimately, it was a zero-sum game with success 
for one species representing disaster for another (670-677). 

An even more important influence on Darwin's idea of struggle 
was the theory of population advanced by the political economist 
Thomas Malthus. A social conservative, Malthus was reacting 



14 The Mind's Eye 



William Montgomery 



against French ideas of social progress and, more immediately, 
against the British Poor Law, the principle welfare measure of his 
day (2:38-69). In his eyes, all efforts to improve the lot of the 
unfortunate through public charity were doomed to failure. No 
matter how much the poor might strive to improve themselves or 
how charitably their betters might sacrifice to assist them, unless 
their reproductive instincts were somehow checked, their numbers 
would inevitably press against the means of subsistence, As Malthus 
saw it, this was a general law of nature: "In plants and irrational 
animals, the view of the subject is simple. They are all impelled by a 
powerful instinct to the increase of their species;. . , and the super- 
abundant effects are repressed afterwards by want of room and 
nourishment." (1:6) 

The importance of this idea for evolution is unmistakable. 
Every effort to develop a theory of evolution by natural selection 
was based on Malthus's theory of population. Not only did Darwin 
rely on Malthus's theory, but so did his little-known forerunner 
Patrick Matthew and his rather better-known contemporary, Alfred 
Russel Wallace. Each of these men regarded the pressure of popula- 
tion as a force that subjected every natural organism to an existence 
of struggle, a struggle that in most cases would end unsuccessfully 
(McKinney 54-55; Mayr 494-501). 

It is worth considering why the idea of natural selection did not 
occur to Charles Lyell. Like all educated men of his day, Lyell was 
certainly aware of Malthus's idea, and he was certainly aware of the 
struggle for existence among animals. The answer appears to be 
that Lyell thought of the struggle simply as a contest between 
species. A species might prosper in the struggle, or it might flounder 
and be driven to extinction, but members of the species essentially 
faced a common fate (Lyell 670-677). Darwin differed from Lyell in 
relating the concept of struggle to the idea of individual variation. 
He did not reject the idea of a struggle among species, but in consid- 
ering the pressure of population, he was especially alert to its 
significance for the individual. Malthus helped him see that the 
tremendous capacity of all living creatures to reproduce put them at 
odds with others of their own kind. Since they all occupied the 



The Mind's Eye 15 



William Montgomery 

same territory, relied on the same food, and feared the same threats, 
they vied with one another to a degree that other, less closely 
related forms, did not (75-76). 

Darwin illustrated the practical consequence of this competition 
by asking his readers to imagine a situation in which wolves were 
confronted with a change in the numbers of their customary prey. 
If swift animals, such as deer, became more important to these 
wolves, "the swiftest and slimmest wolves would have the best 
chance of surviving, and so be preserved or selected. . ." (90) In 
other words, selection constantly acts to adapt creatures to their 
environmental circumstances, allowing them to meet new chal- 
lenges. However, selection does something more. In some cases, it 
is able to create entirely new creatures by making changes in the 
structure and function of their organs. For example, under the right 
circumstances it might have created bats by gradual modification of 
an animal rather like a flying lemur (180-181). Even more radi- 
cally, it might have produced the first land-dwelling vertebrates by 
converting the swimbladder of a fish into a functioning lung (190- 
191). 

Darwin's modification of Malthus's theory gave him a mecha- 
nism which explained the progress he thought he saw in nature. He 
made this explicit in his discussion of geology: "But in one particu- 
lar sense the more recent forms must, on my theory, be higher than 
the more ancient; for each new species is formed by having had 
some advantage in the struggle for life over other and preceding 
forms." (337) Darwin might still join Lyell in expecting the discov- 
ery of Paleozoic mammals, but he was going to have some measure 
of progress, and Malthus had showed the way to a mechanism that 
would produce it. Intellectually, Malthus had provided the key to 
natural selection; personally, he had released Darwin from his 
intellectual tutelage under Charles Lyell. Structure and Distribution of 
Coral Reefs had indeed come half out of Lyell's brain; On the Origin of 
Species had not. 

Robert Malthus was a fashionable thinker in England during 
the 18 30s. His arguments had considerable weight in the highly 
contentious debates over the Poor Law. British Whigs, fed up with 



16 The Mind's Eye 



William Montgomery 



increases in local taxes to support the old system of poor relief, had 
called on Malthus to justify restricting welfare to the inhabitants of 
the poor houses. The New Poor Law was actually passed before 
Darwin returned from the Beagle voyage, and we have no record of 
his attitude toward it; however, he was almost certainly exposed to 
Malthus's ideas from his occasional social contacts with Harriet 
Martineau, a prominent journalist who advocated Makhus's ideas. 
Charles's older brother Erasmus courted Martineau for a time, and 
they met at dinner on several occasions. Darwin's biographers, 
Adrian Desmond and James Moore, suggest that it was natural for 
him to adopt an idea that was so commonly represented in his social 
circle (153-4, 196-7, 201, 216-7, 264-7). 

Desmond and Moore have made an important point about the 
social influences on Darwin, yet their case has its limits. As they 
themselves recognize, Darwin did not care for Martineau and was 
relieved when his brother did not marry her. There is really no scale 
for weighing Darwin's political beliefs against his scientific ambi- 
tions, particularly when his beliefs on the political issue in question 
are essentially unknown. Furthermore, regardless of his reasons for 
taking up Malthus's population theory, it seems likely that he 
thought about it differently as he began to recognize its full scientific 
potential. Malthus had no inkling of the evolutionary implications 
of his idea, and Darwin mentioned Malthus's name only once in the 
Origin of Species (63). 

In effect, Darwin treated Malthus in much the same way that he 
had treated Robert Chambers. He acknowledged each man's 
contribution and then proceeded to ignore him. Compare his 
perfunctory nod to them with his lavish recognition of Charles Lyell. 
And why not? What he owed to Malthus was merely intellectual. 
What he owed to Lyell was deeply personal. The painstaking 
distinctions Darwin drew between his own position and that of Lyell 
were meant to establish his own independence while at the same 
time retaining Lyell's good will. He had to gently correct his old 
mentor while at the same time trying to convert him to a theory he 
had once rejected outright. Darwin's guarded comments about 
evolutionary progress testify eloquently to the difficulty of his task. 



The Mind's Eye 11 



William Montgomery 

The Origin of Species transformed the intellectual landscape. 
Robert Chambers, hitherto regarded as an infidel, emerged as the 
pioneer of Christian evolutionism. Robert Malthus, previously a 
theoretician of welfare policy, became a proto-ecologist. And 
Charles Lyell, the bulwark against Lamarck's species transformism, 
was recostumed as the herald of natural selection. Darwin did not 
necessarily set out to do all of these things; his main goal was simply 
to make the best case he could for natural selection and avoid 
alienating potential supporters whenever possible. However, in 
constructing his argument for something new, he could not escape 
changing everything that was old. His book reshaped both science 
and scientific reputations. Today we remember numerous 19th 
century scientists as he presented them, not as they might have 
appeared to their contemporaries. Intellectual influence does not 
get any stronger than that. 

Works Cited 

Barrett, Paul, et. al. eds. Charles Darwin's Notebooks, 1836-1844: 
Geology, Transmutation of Species, Metaphysical Enquiries, 
Ithaca, NY: British Museum/Corneil University Press, 1987. 

Bowler, Peter J. The Eclipse of Darwinism: Anti-Darwinian Evolutionary 
Theories in the Decades around 1900. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins 
Univ. Press, 1983. 

Bowler, Peter J. Evolution: the History of an Idea. Rev. ed. 
Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1989. 

Burkhardt, Frederick and Sydney Smith, eds. The Correspondence 
of Charles Darwin. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1986. 

Chambers, Robert. Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation 

and Other Evolutionary Writings (1844). Facsimile reprint, edited 
with an Introduction by James A. Secord. Chicago: Univ. of 
Chicago Press, 1994. 

Darwin, Charles. On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural 

Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life 
(1859). Facsimile Reprint with an Introduction by Ernst Mayr. 
New York: Atheneum, 1967. 

Darwin, Charles. Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs 



18 The Mind's Eye 



William Montgomery 



(1842). Reprint Berkeley: University of California Press, 1962. 
Darwin, Charles. The Voyage of the Beagle 2d ed. (1845} Reprint 

London: Dent/ New York:Dutton, 1959. 
Desmond, Adrian and James Moore. Darwin. New York: Warner 

Books, 1991. 

Herbert, Sandra. "Darwin the Young Geologist," In David Kohn, 

ed. The Darwinian Heritage. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 

1985. pp. 483-510. 
Hull, David L. Darwin and his Critics: the Reception of Darwin 's 

Theory of Evolution by the Scientific Community. Cambridge, MA: 

Harvard Univ. Press, 1973. 
Kuhn, Thomas S. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: 

University of Chicago Press, 1962. 
Lyell, Charles. Principles of Geology; or, the Modern Changes of the Earth 

and its Inhabitants Considered as Illustrative of Geology. 9th ed. New 

York: Appleton, 1853. 
McKinney, H. Lewis. Wallace and Natural Selection. New Haven: 

Yale Univ. Press, 1972. 
Malthus, Thomas Robert. An Essay on Population. <1798> 2 vols. 

Intro, by W. T. Layton. London: Dent, 1914. 
Mayr, Ernst. The Growth of Biological Thought: Diversity, Evolution, and 

Inheritance. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. 

Press, 1982. 

Merton, Robert K. On the Shoulders of Giants: a Shandean Postscript. 

New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1965. 
Owen, Richard. "Darwin on the Origin of Species," in Hull, pp. 

175-215. 

Richards, Robert J. The Meaning of Evolution: the Morphological 

Construction and Ideological Reconstruction of Darwin 's Theory. 

Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1992. 
Rudwick, Martin J. S. The Meaning of Fossils: Episodes in the 

History of Paleontology. 2d ed. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 

1985. 

Sulloway, Frank. "Darwin's Conversion: The Beagle Voyage and Its 
Aftermath." Journal of the History of Biology, 1982, 15:325-96. 



The Mind's Eye 19 



Poetry 



BY MARK DANIEL MILLER 



from Life-List: First Bird 

<forR.T.P.) 



"Loon!" I cried, half crazy as one, 
"Loon! Loon!" 

No bird on golden pond, either. 

No Walden loon. 

Pursued by paddle 

Over the smooth surface 

Like a Cheshire checker 

In a lunatic checker game, 

("Suddenly your adversary's checker 

Disappears beneath the board, 

And the problem is 

To place yours nearest to where his 

Will appear again.") 

No, this bird bobbed 

In the mop-water chop 

Off Rockport, in Aransas Bay; 

Was dwarfed 

By the grey immensity 

Of sea and sky; 

Was silent: 

No weird, unearthly yodel 



20 The Mind's Eye 



Mark Daniel Miller 



Or maniacal laugh. 
Yet there it was, 

The black and white checkered back (source 
Of the checkerboard metaphor 
In Thoreau) 

Stark and unmistakable; 

The bird (now rapidly receding from view) 

As small and plain 

As the small, plain, black and white illustration 
In my new bird book: 
Roger Tory Peterson's 
A Field Guide to the Birds 
of Texas. 

(The loon I had mainly known until then 
Was foreign — at least to me. 
It was the lavishly-painted, L. L. Bean loon 
In the first plate 

Of the beginner's guide from Golden. 

I can still see it: 

The wary stare 

Of the bold red eye 

Fixing the viewer; 

The black head, 

With its faint green sheen 

And daggerlike bill, 

Contrasting sharply 

With the pale background: 

Water whitening 

Towards a distant shore; 

The shore 

A steep jut 

Of pale grey rock, 

Topped by a spiring line 

Of deep green fir; 

Beyond the fir, a pastel sky 

Of softest aquamarine; 

A nearer jut 



The Mind's Eye 21 



Mark Daniet Miller 

Of fir-topped rock 

In the middle distance. 

The brown and green 

Reflected 

Brokenly 

In the intimate small waters 

Of the cove or pond; 

A watery mirror 

Of the bird itself 

In the immediate foreground. 

The reflected image 

Blurred by the rolling, concentric ripples 

Emanating 

From the real thing, 

The ripples dividing 

The glassy surface 

Into broad, expanding rings 

Of green and blue; 

And in one small spot 

On the bird's back, 

A white illuminescence 

From the white checks 

So bright, 

It fuzzes the edges 

Of the black: 

The sheen 

Of the soft white sun 

In that Northern sky. 

I can still see it. 

But the loon I was seeing then 

Was the loon I had just been taught to see 

By Peterson; 

The loon right there 

Before my eyes.) 

"Loonl" I cried 
Above the engine's din. 



22 The Mind's Eye 



Mark Daniel Miller 



The spray's white hiss, 

The tympany of wind about my ears. 

"Loon! Loon!" 

And all who were not already there 

Rushed abaft, 

Rushed astern where 

A big American flag 

Whipped and popped 

And the trailing crowd of Laughers 

Yukked it up. 

The passengers were mostly elderly. 
And very kindly, 
And took pity 

On me, my brothers, and my dad; 

For there we were, 

111 -clad and ill -equipped, 

Obvious novices 

On the M.V. Whooping Crane. 

(Poor Scouts— though Scouts all. 

Either present or past— 

We were not prepared 

For the rawness of the wind, 

The fierceness of the Mast; 

And the most powerful optical equipment we had 

Was the telephoto lens — I don't recall 

What "X"— on the turret 

Of Dad's old movie camera: 

The solid, 8mm, Bell -and-Ho well wind-up. 

I had that, 

Mounted on the spidery tripod. 

We didn't even have a pair of binoculars! — 

Only the stubby pair of opera glasses 

I had received a few years back. 

Nevertheless, I saw 

The loon— I was always 

A good spotter— 

And, like the catechist 



The MindS Eye 21 



Mark Daniel Miller 



About to say his catechism 
Or the bar mitzvah 
About to read his text, 
I was nervous but excited, 
Confident of my abilities. 
And ready 
To sing out 
The name.) 

"Loon!" I cried. 

My heart pounding. 

"Loon! Loon!" 

And all the elders on the boat 

Came flocking around me, 

Took a look for themselves, 

And confirmed; 

Then, they congratulated me 

On my sighting: 

"Good spotting!" they said, 

Or "Good bird!" 

I was thirteen. 

It was April 7th, 1968, 

The National Day of Mourning 

For Dr. King. 

(And what was Mom thinking 
As she read the Sunday papers 
While she waited for us 
Back at the Sea Gun Inn?) 

During the several years that I had been birding 
Seriously, I had started my life-list 
All over again 

Several times; for the more I learned. 

The more I would eventually come to doubt 

The validity of certain sightings 

And, doubting part. 

Would eventually so derogate 

The whole 

24 The Mind's Eye 



Mark Daniel Miller 



That — characteristically — I yearned 
For a fresh beginning, 
A new start. 

Since "Loon, Common" 

Was the first bird 

On the A, O. U. Checklist 

(A serendipitous neatness); 

Since I expected to list 

A lot of birds 

On this trip to Aransas 

(And did: 49 the first day — 

Including the Whooper — 

Another dozen the next); 

And especially since, with this bird, 

I felt I had made ft— 

Felt I had finally been initiated 

Into the cult 

Of the full-fledged birder— 
I decided again. 
Right then and there. 
To start my life-list 
From scratch. 

Or, rather, I decided to start 
With this: 

1. Common Loon Aransas Bay (from the M.V. 4/7/68 

Whooping Crane), Aransas 
County, Texas 

"Loon!" I had cried, half crazy as one, 

"Loon! Loon!" 

And as I watched it — 

A checkered flag afloat— 

Rollercoaster over 

The waves of our wake, 

I felt that, while I had won 

One race, another 

Had just begun. 



The Mind's Eye 25 



Struggle for 
a Home 



BY JIM NIEDBALSKI 



Jim Niedbabki, an adjunct English professor at Massachu- 
setts College of Liberal Arts, wrote his master's thesis for the 
Professional Writing program at University of Massachusetts 
at Dartmouth on the impact of Quebec hydroelectric develop- 
ment on the Cree people. This article represents a portion of 
his thesis. 



JL he 300-mile-long Rupert River is one of the great rivers of the 
James Bay region in northern Quebec, second in size only to the La 
Grande River. Its headwaters is the huge Lake Mistassini, a 75-mile- 
long by 10-mile- wide gouge at the southeastern edge of the James 
Bay Territory. The Rupert empties from the west side of the lake and 
flows through small lakes and riverine sections for about 1 50 miles. 
It then pools in Lake Nemaska, about halfway between the source 
and the mouth on Rupert Bay, a southerly extension of James Bay. 

For centuries, a couple hundred Crecs gathered every summer 
on the west shore of Lake Nemaska, which in Cree means "lake of 
many big fish." During the brief warm season, the Crees netted 
bottom- dwelling sturgeon and caught trout in the river. They 
smoked the fish and prepared for the long hunting and trapping 
seasons ahead. In September, when the winds turn cold and ice 
begins to form on the lakes, family groups headed out into the bush. 




26 The Mind's Eye 



Jim Niedbalski 



Some went upriver to the headwaters of the Rupert; others 
downriver toward a series of talis on the Rupert; still others south 
into the Broadback River drainage. They set up winter camps on 
their trapllnes, from which they hunted moose and bear, and 
trapped beaver and other small animals. In June, after the ice breaks 
up, they'd portage and paddle back to Lake Nemaska for the annual 
reunion and summer respite. From the seventeenth through twenti- 
eth centuries, they supplied furs to the Hudson's Bay Company in 
exchange for guns, cookware, clothing, and food staples. 

In 1970, their world took a sudden turn. 

In the summer of that year, a float plane landed on the deep 
blue lake and taxied up to the cluster of small cabins, tents, and 
shacks. A government official climbed out and, without much 
fanfare, told the Crees they would have to leave their thousand- 
year-old home. The Cree elders asked why. 

"He said that the whole village would be under water soon," 
said Thomas Jolly, a Nemaska Cree. "Quebec was going to dam the 
Rupert River. The lake was going to rise about thirty feet." At that 
level, only the Anglican church steeple and the cemetery would be 
dry. 

The Nemaska Crees knew little of political maneuvering in 
Montreal and thought they could do nothing except leave. This 
time, when they left in the fall, they would not have a home to 
return to in the summer. They packed up their few possessions, left 
Lake Nemaska, and moved to other Cree villages. 

Some went to Mistassini on the southern shore of that lake. 
Others went to the James Bay coast to Waskaganish, then called 
Rupert House, or to Wemindji, then called Painted Hills for the 
colorful clay formations. The other Crees accepted the Nemaska 
Crees with varying degrees of civility. The Nemaska dialect was a bit 
different from those of other bands, and communication was 
sometimes difficult. Some villages resented the visitors using their 
traplines to harvest food and fighting ensued. The Nemaska Cree 
had lost their home — and their sense of place in the Cree territory. 

Ironically, the Rupert was never dammed. Instead, Hydro- 
Quebec, the province's giant public utility, chose in 1972 to dam the 
mighty La Grande River, 200 miles to the north. The Nemaska Cree, 

The Mind's Eye 17 



Jim Niedbahki 



having left under duress two years earlier, were reluctant to move 
back to their lake home in case the dam -builders once again claimed 
their river. The Nottaway-Broadback-Rupert project, which would 
divert the Rupert and Nottaway rivers to several powerhouses on 
the Broadback, was still on the drawing board. For several years, the 
Nemaska Cree remained scattered throughout the territory. 

Nemaska Crees get a new home 

As a result of the La Grande project plans, the Cree nation, 
along with their Inuit neighbors to the north, negotiated and signed 
the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement with the provincial 
and federal governments in 1975. The Crees relinquished land 
claims to most of their traditional territory and gave official consent 
to the project. Future developments were allowed under the agree- 
ment, provided they pass a rigorous environmental and cultural 
impact review. In return, the 6,000 Crees received $150 million in 
cash and retained hunting, trapping and fishing rights throughout 
the territory. Their eight villages would be rebuilt with modem 
housing and utilities, with three of them linked by road to 'the 
south." 

Rather than go back to the uncertainty of their former village on 
Lake Nemaska, the elders chose a site on Lake Champion, two 
dozen miles north. A seventy-five mile gravel road connected the 
new village with the James Bay highway. The old village was used 
as a fishing camp, but nothing more. The Nemaska Crees had a new 
place to live, but the traditional meeting place was fading into 
memory, 

In the late 1 980s, as the Cree nation braced for its struggle 
against proposed dams on the Great Whale River, the people felt a 
renewed sense of pride in their cultural link to the land. Soon, the 
Nemaska Cree were making an annual summer pilgrimage to the 
former village, now officially known as Old Nemaska. For the past 
several years, most of the 500 inhabitants have loaded up their 
pickup trucks and vans and driven out to the north shore of the 
lake. There, they clamber into their canoes — wide wood or fiber- 
glass boats seating six or more people that are equipped with 
outboard motors — and ride the final few miles to their former 

28 The Mind's Eye 



Jim Niedbalski 



home. This usually takes place in early August. 
The Rupert-Broadback trip 

In late July 1994, Troy Gipps and I drove the 800 miles north 
from Massachsuetts to Nemaska. We planned to start our 200-mile 
canoe trip near the new village, paddle upstream into the Rupert 
River drainage, and then portage into the Broadback River drainage 
and follow that big river to Rupert Bay and Waskaganish. This 
would be the third of my five canoe expeditions to the James Bay 
Territory, of which Gipps, an alumnus of Massachusetts College, 
would accompany me on four. 

As on all the expeditions, we came for the adventure of pad- 
dling wilderness rivers and embracing a landscape mostly untouched 
by man. We also came to further leant about the proud Cree people 
and to try to understand how hydroelectric development has 
changed their lives. 

At the Nemaska village headquarters, we picked up a radio, a 
bargain rental at two dollars per day, that would be our safety net 
on our trip. On an expansive meeting table, we rolled out our 
topographical maps to review our plans. We wanted to get some 
local insight as to the best route from Lake Nemaska to the 
Broadback River drainage. 

As soon as the maps were spread out on the table, several men 
appeared from various offices. They had all grown up in the bush — 
the common term for the backcountry — and probably didn't use 
maps much. Some of them looked puzzled as they tried to find their 
familiar routes to the Broadback. Dark, wind-burned fingers traced 
the blue lines of the map. Some of the older men spoke in Cree to 
the younger men, who translated the questions about our trip. We 
told them we wanted to know the shortest overland route to the 
Broadback River. Within a few minutes, a tangle of several fingers 
were circling the maps, accompanied by mumbling in Cree and 
broken English. For a fleeting moment, Troy and I were sorry we 
had asked. 

In a break from the chaos, an elderly Cree nudged my elbow 
and pointed to a cove in Lake Nemaska. He traced a straight line 
from the lake over the height of land — far less than a mile of actual 



The Mind's Eye 29 



Jim Niedbalski 



distance — to a series of lakes that emptied into a tiny river. I 
followed his finger as it zig-zagged along the stream for a few inches 
— roughly twenty miles — and watched it empty into the 
Broadback. At that, he waved his hand downstream, cracked a hint 
of a smile, and left the room without saying a word. 

Despite having pored over the map many times before leaving 
home, Troy and I had never seen that route. Our previously planned 
route would have had us portaging more than twice the distance of 
the old Cree's route. The new route turned out to be one of the 
easiest and most pleasant paddling experiences in five trips to James 
Bay. 

Troy and I rolled up our maps, grabbed the radio, thanked the 
men, and headed out of the office. Matthew Tanoush, who had 
given us the radio, stopped us before we reached the door. 

"Will you be stopping at Old Nemaska?" he asked. We hadn't 
planned it, because we didn't know anything was there — the map 
only indicated an "old village site." 

"Everyone will be there next week — won't you be passing 
through then?" Our route would take us right by the village. "And I 
have a cabin on Lake Ukau Amikap — use it if you want." 

The first two days of the trip required a tortuous upstream 
paddle and portage into the Rupert River drainage. Out of shape and 
not used to carrying heavy loads, we struggled up and over rain- 
drenched rocks and pulled the boat through weed-choked shallows. 
It rained consistently for those first two days, and the only break in 
the showers came when a vicious thunderstorm rolled across the 
water and hammered us with horizontal fury. At the end of the 
second day, Tanoush's cabin was a welcome relief from the raw, wet 
weather. By noon the next day, we finally reached current that ran 
with us instead of against us. 

The teenagers and the scouts 

On a clear morning four days after leaving Nemaska, Troy and I 
paddled down the Rupert toward Lake Nemaska. In the distance, 
several brightly colored tents stood out against the dark green 
backdrop of spruce trees. Two dozen boats were beached at the 
village, and a few craft zipped over the wind -whipped blue chop. 



30 The Mind's Eye 



Jim Niedbalski 



We beached our seventeen-foot canoe — a tiny boat compared to 
their canoes — and walked up to Tanoush, who had watched us 
paddle in. 

"See any moose?" he asked. We hadn't, but had seen lots of 
geese. "Good. I don't have any left in my freezer." 

On the beach, a dozen children waded into the warm shallow 
water with plastic buckets and shovels. Two young boys, about six 
and eight years old, ran up to us, slingshots in hand, and asked 
what we were doing there. After we explained, Elijah and Simeon 
(many of the Crees have Biblical names) continued to piunk small 
stones into the lake as we chatted. The two were brothers who were 
here with their mother; their father iived In another village. A group 
of teenagers shuffled by and eyed our canoe and gear. 

"Watch out for him," Elijah said, pointing to one of the teenag- 
ers. "He's no good. He'll try to steal your stuff." From then on, the 
young boys were our scouts and our friends. 

On a small bluff above the beach, a hundred Crees milled about. 
Old women tended slabs of sturgeon on racks constructed above 
smoky fires. Others cleaned the large fish or prepared loaves of 




Elijah and Simeon, our two "scouts " at Old Nemaska 



The Mind's Eye 31 



Jim Niedbalski 



bannock. A group of men unloaded lumber from boats and carried it 
to the church, where another group pounded new siding onto the 
dilapidated building. And as usual in Cree villages, bands of teenag- 
ers wandered around, looking bored despite a flurry of activity 
around them. Many teens hung out at the makeshift store, where 
shelves were stocked with canned foods and sweet snacks, reminis- 
cent of the days when the ubiquitous Hudson's Bay Company 
maintained stores in all Cree villages. 

That evening, as the Crees gathered around a bonfire on the 
beach, I talked with Chief George Wapachee about life in Nemaska 
before and after the James Bay Agreement. As we spoke, I noticed 
the same bands of teenagers huddled in a separate group around the 
fire. I asked Wapachee why the teenagers don't participate in the 
activities of the villages, 

He explained that because so many Crees were separated from 
their families by the Canadian government's former policy of 
educating Indian youths in the south, the kids grew up without a 
grasp of nuclear family life. 

"When I was a boy, I had to.go to school in Ontario," Wapachee 




A Cree elder at her camp at Old Nemaska 



32 The Mind's Eye 



Jim Niedbalski 



said. "Every tall a plane would come here and take me away. I 
missed my parents so much. I'd come back at the end of June, and 
stay through the summer, but two months with your family isn't 
long enough for a young boy." 

A widening generation gap 

These Crees, who were shipped off to school, now have kids of 
their own who attend Cree-run schools In their own villages, but 
because they were separated from their parents during most of their 
formative years, these Crees did not learn effective parenting skills. 
Also, the government's Income Security Program, which encourages 
Crees to hunt and trap in the bush by providing per-diem expense 
money, often separates the families. While one parent, most olten 
the father, is away from the village for extended periods — they 
must spend at least 120 days a year in the bush to qualify for a 
maximum of about $17,000 a year in benefits — the children stay 
home to attend school. (An exception is the "goose break," when 
school is closed for two weeks in the spring and fall to allow entire 
families to head out to their bush camps to hunt the geese during 
the birds' annual migrations.) This widens the gap between genera- 
tions, leaving the teenagers further disconnected from their parents. 
Cree teenagers today are also swayed by satellite television images of 
life in the south, and Wapachee said many are ambivalent toward a 
traditional Cree life. 

The next morning, as Troy and 1 talked to the men rebuilding 
the church, our two young scouts rushed up to us. "You should 
check your tents. We saw some kids messing with them," they said. 

Our tents had been pulled up and tossed a few yards away, but 
nothing was missing. The perpetrators had actually started the 
process of packing up for us, since we were leaving later that day. A 
few hours later, as we paddled away from Old Nemaska against a 
stiff breeze, we waved goodbye to Elijah and Simeon, who playfully 
shot a few stones near our boat. Women flipped fish near rising 
columns of smoke, and men hammered nails into the revived 
church. Young children played on the beach, while the teenagers 
stared listlessly out at the water. 

As Old Nemaska faded from sight, it occurred to me that the 



The Mind's Eye 31 



Jim Niedbatski 



teens acted similarly to the average teenager in the south. 

• • • 

The portage route shown to us in the Nemaska office was there, 
all right — but sheer stupidity prevented us from finding it right 
away. The morning after camping at the far end of Lake Nemaska, 
we saw an overgrown path leading from a cove up a small hill. 
Although the path did not line up with our compass bearing, we 
each saddled up a heavy load and took it anyway. The trail soon 
fizzled out, and we clawed through thick spruce, dragging our heavy 
packs through the tangled mess. We soon realized we had taken the 
wrong path, but unwisely decided to keep heading toward a small 
lake instead of turning back. Lightheaded from hunger, thirst, and 
exhaustion, we trudged on. Another compass bearing and a hour of 
endorphin- crazed bushwhacking brought us to the height of land. 
Troy dimbed the tallest spruce, and shouted that he could see the 
small lake off to the southwest, still a spruce -choked half-mile away. 
By the time we reached the lake, dropped our packs, and headed 
back on the real portage trail, it was late afternoon. 

The trail cut straight through the trees from Lake Encasse to 
Lake Nemaska, barely rising a hundred feet. It took less than an 
hour to get back to our canoe. At sunset we started our final portage 
and arrived at the lake in darkness. Donning headlamps, we loaded 
up the boat and paddled around until we found a reasonable 
campsite. As I collapsed into my tent, I could almost hear our Cree 
friends laughing at us. 

• • • 

As the sun hung low over Rupert Bay, our two canoes sliced 
through the small wave train in the last rapid on the Broadback 
River. Dean Pulver and Bobby Dolan had joined Troy and me at the 
James Bay Road for the 90-mile trip down the Broadback to 
Waskaganish. Ten miles of bay stood between us and Waskaganish. 
Crees there had told me over the phone that we should paddle the 
shallow Rupert Bay at high tide; otherwise, we'd have to paddle a 
mile out Into the ocean. Near dusk, the tide appeared to be coming 
in and the weather was good, so we headed north to the village. 

Even with the tide, the bay was only a few feet deep 200 yards 
from shore. A west wind kept pushing us toward shore, and the 



34 The Minds Bye 



Jim Nkdbalski 

going was slow. As the sun dropped, the wind died down, and only 
the sound of our blades parting the glassy surface accompanied us. 
We still had a few miles to go, but we paddled slowly to savor our 
last few hours in the bush. The clear sky offered an amazing display 
of Northern Lights, directly in our paddling path. Aurora Boreatis — 
"wastuskun," or "dancing spirits" in Cree — is not as common here 
as it is farther north in the territory, and this was the first time we'd 
seen it this trip. 

The Lights were so bright it seemed we could almost hear the 
static electricity dancing across the sky, like the imperceptible sound 
of windwhipped dry snow. As the lights of the village neared, a new 
sound replaced the imagined revelry. Hoots and hollers and screams 
echoed across the bay. Now nearly midnight, we wondered who 
could be creating such a ruckus. 

It was the teenagers. 

Marauding gangs of kids patrolled the streets of Waskaganish. 
We saw them high up on the bluff overlooking the bay, but they 
didn't appear to see us. Exhausted by the time we pulled up to the 
boar dock, we beached our boats and rolled out our sleeping bags 
onto the dock. My watch read 1 :00 a.m. as I zipped up my sleeping 
bag, and I could still hear laughing and shouting in the distance. 

The struggle against despair 

One of the first questions I asked Billy Diamond when he met 
me at the Kashee Lodge in Waskaganish the next day was about the 
teenagers. Diamond, a Cree in his late forties, was the Crees' politi- 
cal hero in the 1 970s. He was elected Grand Chief of the Grand 
Council of the Crees of Quebec in 1973 and became a tough arbitra- 
tor in the struggle to preserve Cree life in the face of the La Grande 
project. With Inuit representative Charlie Watts, he negotiated the 
James Bay Agreement that brought the Crees and Inuits into the 
twentieth century. He gained the respect and, in some cases, the fear 
and disdain of some of the federal and provincial officials and 
lawyers with whom he fought tirelessly, Some Crees say that power 
has gone a bit to his head, but whether or not they like him now, 
Billy Diamond is outspoken and gets things done. A few years ago. 

The Mind's Eye 35 



Jim Niedbalski 

he stepped down as grand chief and came back to Waskaganish, his 
birthplace, to become chief there. 

Two decades of committees, negotiations and politics have taken 
a toll on his physical appearance. A modern political leader has little 
time for the bush, and his belly now sags over his belt, making him 
swagger as he walks. 

Today, about two-thirds of the 10,000 James Bay Crees are under 
age twenty-five, due to a baby boom in the early 1980s after the 
Crees moved into their new year-round homes. "The teenagers don't 
grasp the situation of Cree life today," Diamond said. His generation, 
he said, was frustrated and hopeless, too, and battled with drugs and 
alcohol. But he and his peers realized that they needed to turn to the 
iand for healing. Cree elders. Diamond said, need to give teenagers 
responsibility and direction: "There doesn't have to be despair." 

To that end, every summer a group of Waskaganish teens and 
elders paddle up the Pontax River and back down the Rupert in a 
spirit of cultural connection to the land that has sustained them for 
5,000 years. 



36 The Mind's Eye 



The Gift 
of the Falcon 



BY MARY ELLEN COHANE . 

Adapted from Giovanni Boccaccio's The Ninth Tale of the Fifth Day. 

Dedicated to Patrice and Kaare Bolgen 



T 

An the city of Florence, many many years ago, there lived a well- 
to-do orphan named Mara Giovanna. Mara Giovanna was brought 
up by her three big brothers. She was lively and loving and very, 
very spoiled. 

She grew up. to be the original material girl. She liked fine 
horses, fine fashions, fine wines, and fine furnishings, but above all, 
she loved fine foods. 

Her favorite dish was roasted peacocks glazed with a honey and 
cardamom glace, presented with all the tail feathers stuck back on, 
nestled on a bed of saffron rice. 

Her second favorite dish was calamari alfresco, steamed to a 
delicate chewiness, bathed in spiced black ink. 

She also loved alligator pie, crocodile stew, and possum soup. 
(Rumor says she adored chile, but chile hadn't been invented yet.) 

All the young men in Florence were attracted by her laughing 
spirit and her lust for life. One in particular, Frederico Alberighi, 
sent his servants far and wide to find fine foods to please her. His 
servants went to Norway to find her the most delicate aged rokefisk. 



The Mind's Eye 37 



Mary Eilen Cohane 



(Rokefisk are whole fish packed in barrels with fir branches, and 
then buried in a mound of animal muck for a year.) They went to 
Sweden for lutefisk, which are basically the same thing, but buried 
in the ground instead of in the muck, and Korea for kim chee, 
which are also basically the same thing, but with more herbs, and a 
jar instead of a barrel. Federico's men also travelled to Scotland for 
haggis — the lungs, liver, and lights of a sheep, packed together with 
onions, garlic, and oatmeal in a length of intestine, and to Ireland 
for black pudding, which was basically the same thing, but based on 
cow instead of sheep. (Mara Giovanna was not a vegetarian.) 

Ail these foods were served to Mara and dozens of other guests 
in feast after feast, Frederico also put on the finest fancy balls, the 
most elaborate amateur masques and magic shows, and the most 
exciting jousting contests. Mara Giovanna went to all the feasts, the 
fancy balls, the masques, and the jousts, but she never said two 
words to Federico. Pretty soon, he was exhausted, black and blue 
(from being knocked off horses while all canned up in armor), and 
out of money. Worse, he had seriously overextended his credit 
cards. 

As a result, he was forced to sell nearly everything he had, and 
move into a tiny falconer's cottage in the little town of Campi. 
There he made a frugal living by selling whatever his falcon could 
hunt for him. 

In the meantime, Mara Giovanna had decided that it was time 
to marry. She looked around at all the suitors she had left, and 
decided on Rasputine Ristorante Scarpi. 

Rasputine Ristorante Scarpi was a sharp-faced man with bee- 
tling eyebrows and an avaricious nose. He spent most of his time at 
court helping the royal treasurer design new public policies such as 
a "poor tax." (In this case, it meant finding new ways to tax the 
poor.) Rumor was that Rasputine Ristorante Scarpi had made all his 
money in the silk tunic trade with China, and that the tunic makers 
weren't paid all that much. Be that as it may, he enjoyed fine 
horses, fine fashion, fine wines, fine furnishings, and above all, fine 
food. 

Accordingly, after he and Mara got married, the couple had a 
sumptuous two weeks together. After that, Rasputine Ristorante 

38 The Mind's Eye 



Mary Ellen Cohane 



Scarpi had to go on a business trip to the East, from which he never 
returned. 

Mara Giovanni went home to live with her brothers. She 
wasn't too sad. Seven years later, her husband was declared dead, 
and Mara Giovanna inherited a lot of money. Better yet, her 
husband had left her another legacy: a beautiful son, Tomas, who 
was in his seventh year. 

Now, it so happened that everybody who lived in Florence that 
winter came down with a very bad cold. Mara had it, her brother 
had it, and for them it came and went, but Tomas had it, and 
remained very very sick. He was getting paler and weaker by the 
day, and Mara Giovanna was very very worried. Her brothers 
suggested that Tomas would do better in the clear country air of 
Campi, where many of the Florentines had vacation homes. And so 
Mara and Tomas and all three of her brothers packed up and went 
to Campi. 

It was coming on to winter, and Tomas was no better. That is, 
he was better, briefly, for a few minutes every day just at sunset. 
That is when he could see, through his casement window, the 
mountains of Campi glowing purple and warm brown, lit up with 
the last beams of the setting sun against a deep blue sky. And 
circling up in that sky, he would see a falcon, gracefully drifting 
higher and higher, diving swiftly down to the earth, and then rising 
again, carrying something magic in its talons. Then the falcon 
circled slowly down again, and Tomas could just make out, on the 
right side of its neck, three red feathers, gleaming like gold in the 
sun. 

Except for those brief moments, however, he was becoming 
more and more silent, pale and weak. Mara Giovanna was worried. 
-Tomas," she said. "Tell me, please tell me, if there is anything in 
the world I can give you that would make you feel better." 

"There is only one thing, mama," said Tomas. "More than 
anything else in the world, I would like to have that falcon." 

Now, Mara Giovanna knew full well that the falcon was owned 
by her old suitor, Federico Alberighi. How could she ask this man, 
who had given up everything he owned for her, to now give her the 



The Mind's Eye W 



Mary Ellen Cohans 



very last thing in his possession, his livelihood, the falcon? She 
knew she would have to find a way, because she loved her son more 
than anything in the world. 

So, the next day, Mara Giovanna went with her serving maid to 
the little house of Federico Alberighi. She knocked at the door. 
Federico was shocked to see her at his doorstep. 

"Mara Giovanna!" he said. "To think that you should come to 
my house now!" 

"Oh Federico," she said. "I know that it is because of me that 
you have lost yoor house, your land, and all your credit cards. I am 
so sorry. And on top of that, I have come here today. . .1 have come 
here today. . .to. . .to make it up to you by joining you for dinner." 

"I am honored," replied the poor falconer. "Please come in, 
come in, and sit down by the fire while I prepare to serve you." 
And so Mara and her maid sat down, while Frederico ransacked the 
kitchen in a panic. All he could find was half a trencher of last 
night's Fetucchine Alfredo, a couple of duck eggs, one brown 
speckled egg that didn't look fresh at ail, and a dented can of 
Franco- American Spaghetti. Suddenly, a terrible thought came to 
him. With anguish in his eyes, he looked over at the falcon in the 
corner, who had been busy making pie crust. 

Before he could say a word, the falcon spoke. 

"It's over, Fred. You'd better make room for the next bird. I'm 
outta here. But please believe me, it is a far, far better thing I do 
than I have ever done before," it said, stabbed itself with a wee pen 
knife, and fell down, dead, into the pie crust. An hour later, 
Federico Alberighi and Mara Giovanna were dining on spiced fowl 
pie. As she spooned up the last morsel in her bowl, Mara resolved to 
admit why she had really come. "Federico," she said, "I am afraid I 
didn't come just to feast with you. I have come to ask you for your 
falcon." 

"My. . .falcon?" 

"Oh, Federico, I know very well that it is not fair of me to ask 
and that it is the last thing you. . ." 
"My. . .falcon?" he said again. 

"I know it is a terrible thing to ask so much of you. but I had no 
choice. You see, my son. . ." 

40 The Mind's Eye 



Mary Ellen Cohans 



"My falcon!" he wailed. "You don't understand. I have already 
. . .given you my falcon I" 

Mara Giovanna looked down at the remains of the spiced fowl 
pie, and then up again at Federico. Then down at the fowl pie again, 
as she realized what she'd just had for dinner. She thought at first 
that she would burst out crying, and then she saw the light of 
generosity and love in his eyes. 

"Oh," she said, "the falcon may be gone, but I have found 
something better." 

"Mara!" he cried. 

"Federico!" she replied. And so they fell into each other's arms, 
and then ran into the kitchen, where Federico scooped up the 
brown speckled egg that didn't look fresh at all, and back to Mara's 
brothers' house, straight to the couch where her beloved Tomas lay, 
surrounded by his uncles. 

"Tomas," said Mara. "I cannot bring you the falcon, but I bring 
you happy news. There is going to be a wedding." 

"A wedding?" said the brothers. "To this penniless man, 
Federico Alberighi? You'll use up all your cash." 

"Don't worry," said Mara. "We've decided that I will be han- 
dling the money. And even if I fail, 1 would rather have the man 
without the money than the money without the man." 

And so Mara and Federico set a wedding date, and by the light 
of their love, Tomas got better and better, until he was well enough 
to bear their wedding rings down the aisle of the little chapel in 
Campi. And as Mara Giovanna and Federico Alberighi vowed to 
love each other for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, 
Tomas looked out through the big chapel window behind them. 
There, circling slowly in the bright spring air was a falcon. It dove to 
the earth, and rose again with something magic in its talons. And 
then, as it drifted back down to earth again, Tomas could just make 
out, on the right hand side of its neck, three red feathers glinting 
like gold in the sun. 

And they all lived happily ever after there in Campi, as ovo- 
lacto vegetarians. 



The Mind's Eye 41 



Defining Action in 
Ibsen and Sibelius 



BY BRIAN FITZPATRICK 



J~ Vealism, Symbolism, Nationalism, and Romanticism are broad 
classifications of artistic styles. They are also familiar terms in 
describing the work of Ibsen and Sibelius. Realism stands as an 
exception, since music does not share the particularity offered by 
speech or writing. Even though the specific meaning of language has 
been questioned since Nietzsche, words used in a given context 
provide a reference to the "real" world that is concrete enough for 
certain dramas to be classified under the term realism. Music also 
establishes a context, and uses a particular language to define it. But 
the sonorous nature of its language does not so readily allow for 
developing a specific equivalency with a characteristic of the real 
world. Music is too often content with its evocative sonorous power 




With that aspect of music identified, there still remains a similar- 
ity between Henrik Ibsen's realism and the music of Jean Sibelius, 
particularly as evidenced in the latter's Symphony No. 4. To under- 
stand the affinity between these two men I will refer to Ibsen's The 
Master Builder (1892) and Sibelius's Symphony No. 4 (191 1). The 



technical, stylistic similarity to be discussed here is the introduction 
and development of only essential material as a means of creating 
action. 



42 The Mind's Eye 



Brian Fitzpatrick 



Most dramas and music develop a contextual relationship in 
which primary themes are defined against other ideas. An attribute 
of Ibsen and Sibelius is that thematic development itself remains 
true to the central theme. The question of what is essential in these 
works is answered by what is there. Although it might be correctly 
argued that what is given in any artwork is essential, in these the 
given themes focus around a limited number of primary ideas, they 
are nuclear rather than mechanical, self-propelled rather than 
effected by outside causes. It is because of their intense concentra- 
tion that each is so penetrating. 

Ibsen's action focuses intensely on developing the point of view 
of the main character Solness, and the ramifications that revolve 
around him. It may be likened to understanding simultaneously the 
overt action in Sophocles and the unseen workings of the greater 
forces, the Gods. The Master Builder incorporates the idea of a 
"greater force" as part of the reality specific to Solness. Although 
the play couches the action in symbolism, action ensues from the 
realism at work. This "realism" is ontological in nature. It stems 
from the beliefs and drives of the characters. It is those bebefs and 
drives that are supported with symbolism. 

A look into the developmental treatment of themes elucidates a 
belief about how actions in life transpire. Themes are designed, 
focused, and developed so that the play's coherence results from the 
concentration of a few innately related conditions. When we 
understand the drama as a whole, we see that thematic relationships 
occur through developing the relatively dominant belief system of 
one character, the master builder. The beliefs hefd by Solness propel 
the continuously unfolding action. 

reveal insights that stem from a given condition, but a focused, 
concentrated, succinct style of treatment belongs to Ibsen and 
Sibelius. As will be shown, the composer's style lends itself to this 
kind of organic generation. 1 The stylistic treatment of themes is as 
similar as possible between these different media. The concern here 
is not to categorize Sibelius or Ibsen as a realist, but to show that 
their stylistic treatment of action is similar. 



The Mind's Eye A3 



Brian Filzpatrick 

Every action, whether in life, in a play, or in music, takes place 
within a context. Here the context is created by the playwright and 
by the composer. The context serves as a parameter, in relation to 
which the action is understood to cohere, move away, or advance. 
The action's degree of credibility is further illuminated by the 
specific qualifiers that define the action itself. How can music bring 
witness to this kind of action? 

Of the seven Sibelius symphonies, the fourth holds an impor- 
tant place. It is often considered the primary example of Sibelius's 
musical personality and demonstrative of his compositional proce- 
dure. In Sibelius's Symphony No. 4, the brooding first theme is 
established in a minor key, with a specific rhythm, and characterized 
by a tritone, C to F-sharp. The development and statement of the 
second theme as action — is experienced in relationship to the 
established context (mood) of 



bassoons and low strings 




1. First theme of Sibelius's Symphony No. 4. 



strings 




2. Second theme which demonstrates rhythmic 
diminution of the first theme. 



44 The Mind's Eye 



Brian Fitzpatrick 



the first. However, the second theme is derived from the first, and 
remains integrally related to it by the use of characteristic intervals 
and rhythms. An extreme juxtaposition would result if the first 
theme were contrasted with a very jubilant, rhythmic second theme. 
The initial context would have then shifted into a different realm. 
But this is not the case in Sibelius or Ibsen. The primary theme 
serves as the source for later material. The development and trans- 
formation of the primary theme becomes the action. In the above 
example, we witness the interrelatedness of themes that operates to 
provide action in Sibelius. Is there a correlative procedure at work in 
The Master Builder? 

In the mid-nineteenth century, social commentary in theatre 
and painting raised issues of politics, social castes, poor working 
conditions, and other concerns, all of which were eventually sub- 
sumed in the term "realism." Four of Ibsen's plays — The Master 
Builder (1892), Little Eyolf ( 1 894), John Gabriel Borkmem (1896), and 
When We Dead Awaken (1899)— are typically grouped together as his 
late work. One element that distinguishes The Master Builder from his 
earlier plays is Ibsen's turn away from social commentary toward an 
examination of the individual. This shift in emphasis in The Master 
Builder now makes the application of the term realism to a portrayal 
of the life of society inappropriate. As will be shown below, I rede- 
fine the term in relation to The Master Builder, to accommodate 
Ibsen's change of subject matter. 

In The Master Builder, Hilda, a secondary but important character, 
makes an outrageous demand of Solness: to build "castles in the 
air." It is a demand that— although symbolic— becomes significant by 
what Ibsen reveals about Solness's beliefs, as well as Hilda's. Hilda is 
primarily a symbolic character. 2 directly connected to Solness by 
motifs such as the threatening younger generation, the Solnesses' 
lost children, and youth and vitality in general. She wants her 
kingdom, one equated with the power and control Solness believes 
he must maintain. The symbolic "castles in the air" beckons Solness. 
His somewhat frenzied state of mind, and his concern about himself 
as the master builder, present, past and future, has gained leverage 
from Hilda's demand for "castles in the air." This symbolic image, 



The Mind's Eye 45 



Brian Fitzpatrkk 



like the tower Solness climbs, carries the weight of Solness's beliefs 
and his heedful behavior. Ultimately, the symbols survive and 
Solness perishes. They illuminate a part of him and eventually 
inspire him to act. He dies by making an action that represents his 
selfish attempt at surmounting happiness and ignoring his observa- 
tions and beliefs about Ufe's capacity to direct him. He has ignored 
his own beliefs to satisfy arrogance, pride (hubris), and desire. 
Therefore, the symbolism of the tower and building "castles in the 
air" is connected to Solness's beliefs. 

James Calderwood asked an insightful question that is tied to 
the symbolism in the play. 

How does the play ascend from realistic homes for human 
beings to romantic castles in the air without causing a total 
collapse of our most tenuous suspension of disbelief? 
(1984, 622) 

One answer I am addressing is that the line of action throughout 
the play is based upon Solness's beliefs. Furthermore, the way 
Solness understands the events in his life is not beyond belief, but 
rather intricately developed and webbed into the unfolding story 
line that pushes the action forward. All of us form some belief 
about the existence or nonexistence of unseen workings in life; the 
"circumstances" in life, as Solness put it. Such beliefs are subjective, 
but very real. My use of the term realism will now reflect this aspect 
of the play: the belief held by Solness concerning how the events in 
his life have come to materialize. This new definition also reflects 
the change in Ibsen's subject matter in his late plays, away from 
social realism, toward the individual and modernity. 

The action of the play and the symphony are essentially driven 
by the development of one aspect of each, the first theme of the 
music and the personal credo of Solness. Ibsen gives the viewer a 
hint about Solness's credo when he has the character say: "1 cannot 
help it! I am what I am, and I cannot change my nature!" This 
perspective is first alluded to as a sign of insanity by Mrs. Solness, 
the Doctor, and by Solness himself. The insinuation of madness 
generally assists in making acceptable the more unbelievable charac- 
ter Hilda and her demands. But Solness questions his own sanity 

46 The Mind's Eye 



Brian Fitzpatrick 



because he is torn by his belief in how his place in the world has 
been formed. His confession early in the play that "circumstances 
favored me" is a reference to many earlier experiences. But these 
have yet to be revealed to the audience: the fire, his desire, his 
scheming to become successful, his conviction that Kaia and Hilda 
have responded to thoughts he has left unspoken, the "trolls" in 
oneself. When these things are revealed they assist in making 
known Solness's belief about the events and "circumstances" in his 
life. They serve to substantiate his certainty that the circumstances 
in his life are out of his control. They unveil his teleological view 
that some higher part of the universe is in operation and has had a 
role in defining his position. He schemes in accordance to this belief. 
Such a belief is in alignment with what William James defined as 
"over-beliefs." 

For James, over-beliefs are those beliefs people hold that are 
beyond scientific proof, but are often the most interesting thing 
about a person. Researching religious beliefs and conversion as ways 
people have accounted for their circumstances in life, James finds 
that an over-belief is typically arrived at in response to an "uneasi- 
ness," when the individual is at a "stage of solution or salvation." 
The person identifies with a "higher pan" of the self. 

[one] becomes conscious that this higher part is conter- 
minous and continuous with a MORE of the same quality, 
which is operative in the universe outside of him, and 
which he can keep in working touch with, and in a fashion 
get on board of and save himself when all his lower being 
has gone to pieces in the wreck (1958, 384). 

James wrote about over-beliefs in reference to the multifarious 
experiences in life that people attribute to God or understand as a 
religious experience, in the seminal 1902 lectures that comprise 
his book, The Varieties of Religious Experience. James himself pragmati- 
cally concedes and calls the "higher part of the universe" God, since 
"God is the natural appellation" Christians have always given it. 
Although he makes part of his own over-belief dear, that the 
"subconscious . . . further limits of our being plunge" into this 
"higher part" (388-89). 



The Mind's Bye 47 



Brian Fitzpatrick. 

Like Solness, we all, whether a believer, atheist, or mystic, 
understand the workings of the "higher part" in some way, for 
example, as coincidence, destiny, fate, God's plan, "eternal return" 
(Nietzsche), "synchronicity" (Jung), or "circumstances." The 
distinguishing factor resides in the explanation one gives, the belief 
one holds about what causes our "circumstances" and sets them in 
operation. Solness believes that God is responsible for the circum- 
stances in his life. 

One figurative meaning of Solness's church-building endeavors 
is blatant, his becoming God-like. In the drama his desire to build 
churches is connected to his ("over") belief that his "circumstances" 
are the work of God. The action during the third act revolves around 
the symbolic act of climbing a tower. The symboiism functions to 
substantiate points related to his belief. Because now his climb is 
part of his determination to step outside of his "circumstances," to 
begin a new life. The action is broadened in scope through symbol- 
ism that substantiates Solness's subjective view. It is based in his 
"realism" (as newly defined above). Furthermore, Solness gives a 
calm and collected confession in the dialogue that directly precedes 
his final climb. Hilda asks Solness if he is afraid of climbing the 
tower of the new home and possibly falling to his death. Solness 
replies, "No .... I am afraid of retribution." The fact that Solness 
has a religious "over-belief" is essential to recall. 

Solness. I came as a boy from a pious home in the 
country; and so it seemed to me that this 
church-building was the noblest task I could set 

myself I built those poor little churches 

with such honest and warm and heartfelt 
devotion that — that — 

Hilda. That—? Well? 

Solness. Well, that I think that he ought to have been 
pleased with me. 

Hilda. He? What he? 



48 The Mind's Eye 



Brian Fitzpntrick 



Solness. He who was to have the churches, of course! He 
to whose honor and glory they were dedicated. 

As for the understanding Solness has of his own judgment: "He 
pleased with me! ... Oh no, he made me feel dearly enough that he 
was not pleased with me." As the dialogue continues, Ibsen reveals 
the ultimate reasoning behind Solness's belief in the 'circumstances" 
that favored him. Throughout the play Solness speaks in a lower, 
"mysterious" tone when he makes references to his belief that God 
wanted him to become an "accomplished master in my own 
sphere— so that I might build all the more glorious churches for 
him." Ibsen thereby makes known that part of Solness's "over- 
belief" is that the circumstances occurred as a result of God's plan. 
When Solness finally does fall, the effect is climactic because his 
personal credo has not forbidden its occurrence.' 

Thematically, Ibsen has developed Solness's beliefs and ideologi- 
cal credo to function as a continuous thread around which the 
action spins. 

Likewise, Sibelius works from essentially one theme stated in 
the first movement of his Symphony No. 4. The theme recurs in the 
following movements as well. The similarity between Ibsen and 
Sibelius is one of procedure and style. All artists develop their 
themes. But the condse and focused approach that develops a 
theme or two into a whole work belongs to Ibsen and Sibelius. The 
result bears an austerity that assists in defining action. The nature of 
the similarity between Sibelius and Ibsen can be witnessed in the 
following comment made by Sibelius when in conversation with 
Mahler. Discussing the symphony as a form, Sibelius responded that 
its essential nature resides in "the severity of style and the profound 
logic that create[s] an inner connection between all the motifs" 
(Abraham, 1947, 154). No description can come closer to what is 
evident in his Symphony No. 4, and to a lesser extent in other works, 
such as the first movement of Symphony No. 1, Bumett James wrote 
of Sibelius's music that "the intellectual and aural satisfaction 
received from a Sibelius symphony, beginning to end, is the result, 
to a large extent, of the inner logic and unity of his technique" 
(1983, 54). 



The Mm d's Eye 49 



Brian Fitzpatrkk 

"Inner logic and unity of . . . technique" describes Ibsen as well, 
especially during the period of The Master Builder. But even in his 
earlier period, Ibsen acknowledged the importance of a highly 
unified work and discussed how to achieve unification. He worked 
on Pillars of Society ( 1877) for seven years. During that time he 
wrote: 

I have yet to solve the problem of retaining some sort of 
poetry and grandeur in my dramatic portrayal of modern 
life — not the poetry of words but of feeling and situation. 
But I have found out something that may help . . . ma- 
nipulating the prosaic details of my plays so that they 
become theatrical metaphors ... I have used costume in 
this way, lighting, scenery, landscape, and weather ... I 
have used living figures as symbols of spiritual forces that 
act upon the hero. Perhaps these things could be brought 
into the context of a modern realistic play to help me to 
portray the modern hero and the tragic conflict which I 
now understand so well. (Fjelde, 99) 

What the quote reveals is that symbols are subservient to 
realistic attributes. Ibsen now employs "prosaic details" as "theatrical 
metaphors," as a way of substantiating his unity of action, 4 to 
develop a "modem realistic play" that portrays the "modem hero 
and the tragic conflict." 

Since both of these artists began their careers in the nineteenth 
century and ended as unique stylists, it may be worth investigating 
if either of these works maintains any characteristics of Romanticism 
that would assist in defining the action as upholding Romantic 
ideals, or bring illumination to their qualities, The prevailing answer 
is that the given context is Romantic, and the action as a nascent 
idea evolves from this. As described above, the action in The Master 
Builder can be understood solely in relationship to Solness. 5 The 
defining feature from which the action stems is Romantic: the hero 
with ideals to be achieved at any cost, suffering from experiencing 
subjective truth. Once these are put into the context of a condi- 
tion—an individual's beliefs as vividly exposed through one's 
character and occupation in life— the boundary into "realism" has 



50 The Mind's Eye 



Brian Fitzpatrick 



been crossed. Symbolism was assigned to serve its end. 

A similar statement can be made about the Symphony No, 4. The 
correlative procedure in the Symphony includes the notion that 
music evolves from itself. Referring to music, however, one must be 
careful to distinguish between action and motion. The time arts 
especially are always in motion, if we accept their contextualization 
of time as objectifying motion. The concern here is with how 
movement, whether thematic development of a plot or of a musical 
idea, is transformed and evolves to create meaningful action. If 
developed material has its source in what has been more modestly 
stated, then some action has evolved. The action is particularly 
"organic" when continuity results from internal relationships 
between one theme and the next. Prom a perspective that derives its 
understanding from technical analysis only, the means of thematic 
development provides the reason for the paradoxical statement 
made above, "music evolves from itself." fn this case a nuclear 
theme becomes a source for generating new, but related material. 
Obviously, material that is completely new may be introduced at 
any point, and therefore may be all the more poignant. So the 
context from which action evolves is essential. 

As stylistic characteristics, action and context point to the 
tumescent, exploitative aspect of Romanticism: in music, expanded 
forms, extended virtuosic passages, the grand ending that resists 
ending, the impassioned fervor, or as Mahler said in reply to 
Sibelius, "No, the symphony must be like the whole worid. It must 
embrace everything" (Johnson, 1959, 130). 

Sibelius's music certainly does not "embrace everything," but its 
lengthy phrases, subjective feelings of expression and extended 
harmonies show its roots in Romanticism. Rather than being "like 
the whole world," the music is specific in character, its action 
humble and true to itself. Its evocative power comes from its focus. 
This specificity does not negate its qualification as Romantic music, 
but rather supports it. When discussing the motivic development of 
Sibelius's first symphony, Burnett James notes. 

Even at this early stage Sibelius's method has nothing in 
common with an idee fixe or with the 'cyclic form' used by 



The Mind's Eye 51 



Brian Fitzpatrick 



Elgar after Cesar Franck. It is the beginnings of a genuinely 
organic way of thinking and composing, the Sinking and 
interlocking of motifs nearer to the cellular evolution of 
living organisms (1983, 53n). 

It required the historical progression of form itself as seen from the 
Baroque through Neociassicism and into Romanticism for such a 
conception to have its venue. In Romanticism, artistic vision gov- 
erned form which was loosened enough so that one's style was 
relatively freed from convention. Finally, we have seen how stylistic 
traits of Ibsen and Sibelius are similar. Although symbolism (Ibsen), 
modem, and romantic elements are evident, each artist focuses 
upon a limited number of ideas which are developed to create 
action. In each work, the action is defined through its inherent 
relationship with centralized themes and always remains close to 
them. 

Works Cited 

Abraham, Gerald, ed. Tht Music of Sibelius. New York: Norton and 
Co., 1947. 

Calderwood, James. "The Master Builder and the Failure of Sym- 
bolic Success", Modern Drama, 2.7 Dec. ( 1984). 

Fjelde, Rolf. Ibsen: A Collection of Critical Essays. New Jersey: Prentice- 
Hall, Inc. 1965. 

Ibsen, Henrik. The Master Builder. Trans. Eva Le Gallienne, New York 

University Press, 1955. 
James, Burnett. The Music of Jean Sibelius. Associated University 

Presses, Inc., 1983. 
James, William. The Varieties of Religious Experience. Penguin, Inc. 

1958. 

Johnson, Harold. Jean Sibelius. New York: Knopf, 1959. 
Notes 

'Certainly there are other playwrights and composers who are frugal 
in their approach to unifying a work by focusing solely upon one or 
two ideas and manipulating them to generate seemingly new 
material. Johannes Brahms immediately comes to mind in this 
regard. 

52 The Mind's Eye 



Brian Fitzpatrick 



2 In 1962, Richard Schechner published "The Unexpected Visitor in 
Ibsen's Late Plays," a Jungian reading that understands Hilda and 
the other visitors in Ibsen's plays as "sector[s] of the hero's mind 
which cannot be faced directly" (159). The article is reproduced in 
Ibsen, ed. Rolf Pjelde, 1965. 

'Solness has succeeded in living with the "circumstances" estab- 
lished by God. However, in the third act he reveals a pessimistic 
belief: "Men have no use for these homes of theirs — to be happy in. 
And I should not have had any use for such a home, if I had one. 
See, that is the upshot of the whole affair, however far back I look. 
Nothing really built; nor anything sacrificed for the chance of 
building. Nothing, nothing! the whole is nothing." This exclamation 
serves to signify a crisis of faith. Now Solness is free to act according 
to his own dictates and to be his own God. Remaining with William 
James as a reference, he comes to the conclusion that one does not 
serve one's faith if there is not a change in one's behavior. Solness's 
belief in himself does change his behavior. He decides to climb the 
tower in the final act. Solness and Hilda proclaim their love for one 
another and will attempt to build castles in the air "on a firm 
foundation." 

But does Solness really believe that this is possible? Even as a 
tragic hero, throughout the play he has exhibited an understanding 
of the "circumstances" and used them to succeed. Castles in the air 
on a firm foundation — is less a metaphor than a paradox. Is Solness 
that swayed by Hilda or is there something else he is not revealing? 
Perhaps his fall was not that at all, but a suicide. His statement that 
"the whole is nothing" signifies the rupture with his religious belief; 
he is now left in a meaningless life. He says to Hilda that he will 
build castles in the air. But upon climbing the tower he says, "Hear 
me Mighty Lord — thou may'st judge me as seems best to thee. But 
hereafter I will build nothing but the loveliest thing in the world." 
Presumably this "thing" is his love and life with Hilda. Equally, if 
Solness did jump, then this "thing" becomes a life united with God. 
Ibsen never says with certainty. What he does have Solness say is 
that, "Now I shall go down and throw my arms around her and kiss 



The Mind's Eye 53 



her," something that never really happened when referred to in the 
first an, or at best it was left ambiguous. Will the dream come true? 
Or does Solness realize its impossibility— that the "whoie is noth- 
ing"— and jumps? 

*The use of the Aristotelian phrase unity of action is employed cau- 
tiously. It would be interesting to examine the Aristotelian unity of 
action in relationship to both these artists, but here time did not 
permit it. 

The inspiration that helped design Solness as a character came from 
experiences in Ibsen's life. At the age of 61 Ibsen met his own 
"Hilda," an Austrian girl much younger than the playwright. He 
managed to suppress the enticement which came from knowing her. 
The autobiographical details of the play have been well docu- 
mented. For a terse reference, see Reflections: Essays cm Modern 
Theatre, Martin Esslin, Doubleday, 1969, 44. 



54 The Mind's Eye 



Drawings 



BY WILLIAM SPEZESKI 




The Mind's Eye 55 



Book Review 



BY ROBERT BENCE 



In Search of History 

Presidencies, Personalities 
and Policies 



The Dark Side of Camelot 

by Seymour Hersh. Little Brown and Company, 1997 

Taking Charge; The Johnson White House Tapes, 1963 -1964 

by Michael R. Beschloss. Simon and Schuster, 1997 



J— ^oes a president make history, or does history make a presi- 
dent? Given the recent flurry of scholarly and popular attention to 
chief executives and their relatives, one could conclude that the 
answer is neither. The ultimate definitions of both leaders and their 
eras are the result of construction, deconstruction, and endless 
reconstruction by journalists, film directors, playwrights and, if we 
are fortunate, occasional perceptive historians. Key U.S. political 
actors of the 1960s are particularly susceptible to being currently 
revised, thanks in large part to the Freedom of Information Act, 
discovery and release of dusty audio tapes, newly talkative "eye 
witnesses" and ex-lovers who desire to secure their place on the 
56 The Mind's Eye 




Robert Bence 



record and an enthusiastic audience of aging baby boomers. Jour- 
nalist Seymour Hersh and historian Michael Beschloss have relied 
heavily on their respective crafts to revisit the life and times of 
presidents Kennedy and Johnson, men who were responsible for 
some of the most crucial policies of the 20th century, whose effects 
we will continue to benefit and suffer from well into the next 
millennium. 

Hersh, always the investigative journalist, chose the deductive 
(destructive?) route to truth, funneling every possible shred of 
evidence in an attempt to support the contention that a philander- 
ing, Mafia-cavorting, often medicinally drug-impaired John F, 
Kennedy jeopardized American foreign policy by his insatiable 
desire for new sexual conquests (although the securing of prosti- 
tutes required only minimal seductive abilities), nude co-ed romps 
in the White House swimming pool, and midnight liaisons with an 
East German temptress. In short, JFK fiddled while Pax Americana 
burned. (Of course we are now painfully aware that presidents can 
compartmentalize their lives, separating private sin and public 
policy.) When the self-focused president did attend to the affairs of 
state, his attention centered on a dangerous obsession with Fidel 
Castro and a coldly calculated willingness to assassinate uncontrol- 
lable or inconvenient world leaders such as South Vietnam's Diem 
and Congo's Lumumba. And all these violations of public and 
private trust were covered up willingly by a milquetoast press, a 
heretofore loyal staff and an enabling family, primarily his fanati- 
cally protective brother Bobby, the self-designated keeper of 
Kennedy secrets. Dabbling in amateur psychology, Hersh would 
have us to believe that misbehavior, machoism, and corruption were 
an inevitable result of the Kennedy/Fitzgerald family heritage. 
Granddad Honey Fitz and father Joe connived, cheated, and bought 
their way to power (should we be surprised that money is a major 
factor in politics?), so how could we expert any less of our youngest 
president? It was in his genes. 

Not a great deal of new information Is contained in Hersh's 
work. Using an expose style, it is a titillating read, and could easily 
be scripted into an entertaining movie, although the plot would 



The Mind's Eye 57 



Robert Bence 



overlap with a number of previous productions. Probably many, if 
not most, of Hersh's assertions have much basis in reality. Yes, the 
1960 West Virginia primary was bought with Dad's money. The CIA 
was instructed to find James Bond-like ways to kill Fidel. The 
Kennedy family had a clandestine relationship with mob elements. 
J. Edgar Hoover was not above blackmail. The most disturbing 
feature of Hersh's prolific investigation (five years, 1000 interviews) 
is the questionable assembling of the information and loose con- 
struction of unsubstantiated inferences. Some sources are quoted 
anonymously, some weak sources are used exclusively to bolster a 
major point, and a few assertions push the credulity meter to its 
limits. A few charges are simply not supported by any evidence. For 
example, the contention that Lyndon Johnson politically extorted 
Kennedy in order to secure the 1960 vice presidential nomination is 
unsubstantiated by any credible evidence. It is also difficult to 
believe that mobster Sam Giancana single handedly won Illinois for 
the Democratic ticket (the mobilization power of Daley's Chicago 
politburo still affords the most plausible explanation*. Should we 
easily accept Hersh's belief that a devious FBI director and a high- 
living mobster (with a little help from Frank Sinatra) held the fate of 
the presidency and U.S. foreign policy in their amoral hands? 
However, if you come to bury John Kennedy, Hersh offers a devas- 
tating eulogy. 

Michael Beschloss, historian and television personality, offers us 
an alternative method for examining a president and his times. 
Selectively using recently released tapes of Lyndon Baines Johnson's 
White House conversations and phone calls, Beschloss leads us 
through LBJ's political travails in the year after Kennedy's death. 
And what a crucial year it was. We gain a sense of Johnson's famed 
manipulative skills, insecurities and vulnerabilities as he confronts 
the Kennedy legacy, arch-rival Bobby Kennedy, byzantine Texas 
politics, the shaky Warren Commission procedures, as well as the 
formulation of crucial far-reaching policies such as decisions about 
Vietnam, the War on Poverty and the first major civil rights legisla- 
tion since the Civil War era. As a properly trained historian, 
Beschloss proceeds inductively, laying out edited conversations. 



58 The Mind's Eye 



Robert Bence 



supplemented by footnoted comments and additional source mate- 
rial. There are no grand conspiracy theories in this book, only some 
well-organized documentation which affords readers the welcome 
relief of postulating our own conclusions. For some reason Johnson 
was a compulsive taper. And while we are warned that this presi- 
dent, aware of how this recorded history might judge him, may 
have been cagily dishonest, the imprecise wording, off-color lan- 
guage and occasional self-incriminating statements make us want to 
believe that this is the "rear LBJ. 

The transcribed Lyndon Johnson often seems like the man 
liberals in the 1960s knew and usually disliked. He plots strategies 
for keeping Bobby Kennedy off the 1964 ticket and schemes against 
his friends to insure Democrats were elected to government in the 
Lone Star state. His well-honed skills in pressuring people through 
persona] obligation are amply illustrated. While using his "I'm just a 
simple country boy" affect, he badgers his staff, manipulates report- 
ers, and forcefully directs senators to suppress investigations of the 
infamous Bobby Baker which might Unk insurance company 
kickbacks to the Johnsons and their Texas television empire. And 
lest we forget, Johnson's conversations also remind us of his key 
role in supporting a CIA coup in Brazil, secretly bombing Laos, 
overreacting to the Gulf of Tonkin incident, and undermining the 
Mississippi Freedom Delegation's plea for racial fairness and repre- 
sentation at the 1964 Democratic convention. And it is tortuous to 
read how LBJ and J. Edgar Hoover pretend to be mutually support- 
ive. In one of many clearly insincere statements made to almost 
everyone, Johnson says to Hoover, "You are my brother and per- 
sonal friend." For Johnson, the line between friends and enemies is 
hopelessly blurred. All of his political acquaintances seem to be 
both. 

But presidents are human, not umdimensional nor inherently 
evil. Beschloss' editing offers insights into the kinder, gentler fabric 
of Johnson's character. To a large extent LBJ took the leadership 
role of the presidency seriously, and there was more than a hint of 
compassion mixed in with base political survival. He refused to 
compromise on the 1964 Civil Rights Act, when compromise would 




The Mind's Eye 59 



Robert Bence 

the alienation of his southern base on the eve of an election, 
Johnson pulled out most of the stops in ordering a federal govern- 
ment search for the three missing (later found dead) civil rights 
workers in Mississippi. And it is touching to read the seemingly 
loving exchanges between Johnson and the ever supportive Lady 
Bird. An often sleepless Johnson is insecure and pathetic in the 
tradition of a rapidly falling Greek hero. While Johnson's abrasive, 
intimidating style no doubt contributed to his isolation, he was 
uncontrollably saddled with Kennedy holdover advisors whose 
loyalty to the unsophisticated Texan was clearly suspect. To com- 
pensate, Johnson sought consolation and counsel with his old 
Senate buddies, but the transition from Capitol Hill to the White 
House moved those relationships to a more competitive level. Being 
president finally insured that LBJ could never be at peace: "And 
what 1 want is great solace, a little love. That's all I want." But we 
all know the ending to this tragedy, and his personality and position 
guaranteed the impossibility of either private solace or public love. 

While Beschloss provides the documentation and Hersh the 
judgment, both efforts give us less than complete explanations of 
presidential behavior in the early sixties. No doubt personality is 
vital to explaining actions and policies. But other systemic forces 
were at work here, and American democracy and policy were 
jeopardized not only by presidents' libidos and crass desires for 
power. Any president has to confront the irrational conflicting 
demands of American economic and political values (economic 
freedom and political equality), has to massage and manage compet- 
ing intra -political party factions, has to function inside the often 
paralyzing complex system of separation of powers, as well as to 
locate and devote huge sums of money to secure nominations and 
win elections. These factors promote presidential secrecy and the 
temptation to control the dissemination of information. 

Beschloss and Hersh offer some keen insights into the modus 
operandi of the pre-Watergate press and its manipulation by presi- 
dents. While it is refreshing to know there was a time when a 
president's sex life was not the lead story on the evening news, 
Kennedy and Johnson, through carefutly nursed personal connec- 
tions, were able to keep crucial information away from a naive 



60 The Mind's Eye 



Robert Bence 



public. Ben Bradlee ( Newsweek and The Washington Post) and Frank 
Stanton (CBS) were apparently completely co-opted by Presidents 
Kennedy and Johnson. Would U.S. policies have taken other 
directions had the mainstream fourth estate abandoned its deference 
to the commander in chiefs? Could this protective press have better 
served the republic? 

Kennedy ordered the CIA to assassinate world leaders. 
Johnson developed plans to undermine democracies and escalate 
the war in Vietnam. But is this a result of their well-known per- 
sonal Daws, or of carrying on well-established Cold War traditions? 
What president has not wanted to eliminate Castro? And what Oval 
Office occupant seriously tried to rein in the ever-imaginative CIA or 
the self-serving J. Edgar Hoover? Indeed, former President 
Eisenhower advised Kennedy to take a tough stand on Cuba, and 
the Cuban invasion plans were developed by the Dulles brothers 
prior to the 1960 election. And could any ambitious politician before 
1989 win election to the presidency who did not advocate a zealous 
opposition to communism? Hersh recounts the commonly held view 
that JFK expressed a desire to scale back U.S. commitment to 
Vietnam after safely securing a second term. But isn't this the same 
president who refused to negotiate with North Vietnam, and se- 
lected Robert McNamara as his Secretary of Defense, soon to be a 
trusted Johnson advisor who continually recommended military 
solutions for Southeast Asia? While Hersh tells us that Kennedy 
had qualms about authorizing the Bay of Pigs invasion, we also find 
out that the president considered a preemptive bombing of Chinese 
nuclear facilities. 

The Johnson conversations more clearly demonstrate how big- 
power politics and the well-developed and broadly held American 
anti -communist sentiments shaped electoral politics and presidential 
decision making. Constantly under public criticism for his lack of 
experience and expertise in foreign policy, Johnson felt trapped by 
the Vietnam conundrum. Continually informed of the lack of 
democracy, stability and support for the U.S. in what remained of 
the South Vietnamese government, and as a true believer in the 
domino theory, along with his advisors and American society in 



The Mind's Eye 61 



Robert Bence 



genera], Johnson believed his options were limited. The only logical 
choice for a president boxed in by these political and ideological 
boundaries was non-negotiation with communists and pursuit of 
military solutions. And there were always a plethora of advisors 
ready to recommend a variety of increasing deadly options. Neither 
Hersh nor Beschloss afford any optimism that a second JFK term 
would have looked much differently at Vietnam. At this stage in 
history the Cold War had a life of its own, consuming even well- 
meaning elites inside and outside of government. 

It does matter whom we elect as president. Victories by Richard 
Nixon in 1960 or Barry Goldwater in 1964 would probably have not 
produced presidents who befriended the same mobsters, or enthusi- 
astically initiated a Peace Corps or declared a War on Poverty. But it 
serves us well to remember that systemic factors such as campaign 
financing, the American ideology, international politics and vagaries 
of our electoral system shape presidential behavior as much as 
quirky presidential neuroses. Personality and character are not the 
only explanations for policy. We may enjoy reading about a "great 
man's" idiosyncracies and obsessions, but broader perspectives are 
essential to understanding the actions of governments and their 
leaders. 



62 The Mind's Eye 



Contributors 



Robert Bence has taught political science at Massachusetts College 
of Liberal Arts since 1976. In 1992 he was a visiting professor at 
Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. He has presented 
numerous papers, many of them on Canada and Canadian studies, 
and has accompanied his students on several study trips to Canada. 
Professor Bence's book reviews have appeared in The American 
Review of Canadian Studies, Africa Today, and New Directions in Teaching, 

Mary Ellen Cohane's research interest is in the intersection of. 
folklore and mythology with literary theory. She has written and 
presented numerous papers on literature, principally focusing on 
James Joyce. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of American 
Folklore and New Jersey Folklore Quarterly. Her story, "The Gift of the 
Falcon," is part of a work in progress: one of five stories and a 
mummers play called A Christmas Book. Professor Cohane has taught 
in the English and Communications department at Massachusetts 
College of Liberal Arts since 1986. 

Brian Fitzpatrick teaches music in the Fine and Performing Arts 
department at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. His research is 
concerned with stylistic and expressive qualities of music, painting, 
theatre, and film. Professor Fitzpatrick seeks to elucidate artistic 
styles and their cultural frames while addressing topics such as the 
self -consciousness of modernity, disjunct narrative, time, and 
transcendence. Active as a composer, he has written music per- 
formed in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Massachusetts. 

Mark Daniel Miller teaches creative writing, literature, and 
composition at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. He has pub- 
lished several articles on the life and work of Robert Penn Warren, 
and recently served as president of The Robert Penn Warren Circle. 
His poetry has appeared in The New York Quarterly, The Pawn Review, 
and elsewhere. His poem, "First Bird," is part of a mixed-genre, 
autobiographical work in progress, entitled Life-List, From Texas, 
Professor Miller joined the English and Communications department 
in 19S6. 



The Mind's Eye 63 



William Montgomery has taught at Massachusetts College of 
Liberal Arts since 1986. He is currently an associate professor in the 
department of Interdisciplinary Studies and serves as acting chair. 
His primary interest is the history of science. He has written several 
articles on the history of evolutionary thought, and was an associate 
editor of the first three volumes of The Correspondence of Charles 
Darwin (Cambridge University Press, 1985-1987). 

Jim Niedbalski wrote his literary-journalism master's thesis on the 
impact of Quebec hydroelectric development on the Cree people. 
His article, "Struggle for a Home," represents a portion of that work. 
Niedbalski has written articles for several magazines and is a con- 
tributor to The Berkshire Eagle. He has taught journalism at Massa- 
chusetts College of Liberal Arts for ten years, and is an academic 
advisor to The Beacon, the student newspaper. 

William Spezcski teaches computer science and information 
systems at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. He is the author of 
Logo: Models and Methods for Problem Solving. When time permits, he 
uses charcoal and oil paint to capture quiet scenes from nature, 



64 The Mind's Eye 



Mind's Eye 

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